While digitalization isn’t big news anymore, it’s no secret that the threats unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed man further into the digital world. In fact, with the world still under lockdown, it’s fair to say that virtual is the new normal. From home entertainment, communication, travel, to healthcare, almost everything has now been shifted into the digital realm.
For businesses, this could serve as a double-edged sword. Perhaps, as how Charles Dickens once put it: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” While physical stores remain empty and silent, online services are experiencing a tremendous boom. Given this, it’s no surprise that many are shifting their eyes towards the digital world to scale back amid the pandemic and beyond.
If you’re a businessowner, joining the trend and pouring your utmost attention to online marketing is the wise thing to do, especially amid the global health crisis. Here, we have compiled all the reasons why you should not hesitate to give it a try. Check them out!
Defining Online Marketing
First things first: What do we mean by online marketing?
As can be inferred from its name, this refers to the use of web-based channels to promote a company’s brand, products, or services. Basically, it is anything that an organization does online to reach potential customers.
Perhaps, you’ve already heard the term “digital marketing” before. In essence, online marketing works almost similar to the former. However, while digital marketing includes a multitude of channels, such as the internet, mobile applications, and any other platform that has digital foundation, online marketing, on the other hand, is focused on online-based platforms only. In other words, we can say that online marketing is a subset of digital marketing.
To date, there now comes a broad range of sub-categories under online marketing. Among these include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, and more.
To help you understand how each of these work, here is a brief guide on what you can expect from each of the mentioned marketing strategies.
Types of Online Marketing
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As you might have already noticed, almost everyone now relies on online search engines, such as Google, to discover various things – from what’s the best hotel in Rome, where’s the nearest café, how to make coffee jelly, and more. In fact, it can be safely said that search engines now have more to say about a business than a business itself.
Given this, it’s important for organizations to maximize search engines for their own advantage. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the magic that will help bring this goal into reality. Specifically, SEO works to improve a company’s visibility on major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Its goal is to boost the quality and quantity of website traffic, so a company’s online content can appear as a top result for searches on search engines.
Since it’s a general habit of internet users to not look further than the first page of search results, it becomes a shared aim for businesses to be part of the top results of Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Through the application of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), organizations will get to know what people are searching for and incorporate those specific keywords in their online contents to play by the search engine’s rules and become part of the first page of search results.
No doubt, marketing will be impossible without great content. When using SEO, for example, you may lead a potential customer into your site, but without good content, the visitor is likely to exit from the page and look for another source later. In the commercial world, the production of high-quality content that drives profitable customer action is called “Content Marketing.”
To have a fuller grasp on the term, it’s important to get back on the three words the Content Marketing Institute used in describing what Content Marketing is: valuable, relevant, and consistent.
Essentially, this means that instead of merely throwing your products and services straight into the visitors, you are, instead, providing them with useful and relevant content that are responsive to their demands and inquiries.
To date, there are many forms of content writing being used by organizations of different industries. Among the most common examples include FAQs, Guide articles, Infographics, Lists, Podcasts, Reviews, Photos, Videos, and more.
Think of it as a way to raise the awareness of seeking customers, let them know their options, and, essentially, lead them into choosing your services and products.
Social Media Marketing
It’s hard to meet someone who doesn’t have any social media account. In fact, the apparent boom of social media platforms has massively changed how people connect, spend their days, and attend to their day-to-day tasks and activities.
Given this, it’s only wise for businesses to take advantage of social media platforms for their commercial advantage. Social Media Marketing, in particular, is the marketing technique that focuses on such goal. Specifically, this refers to the process of using social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and more, to build brand, connect with your audience, and influence potential customers into choosing your products or services.
Online Marketing Amid a Pandemic: Why Is It More Important than Ever?
Generally, even before the emergence of the COVID-19, the use of online marketing has long been recognized to be a necessary task for all businesses. However, given today’s conditions, which involves the presence of a deadly disease that prevents people from going out and performing close physical contact with others, it’s only fair to expect that the world will be forced to dwell deeper into the digital world.
To date, what were once deemed as “options” have now become “necessary.” From completing one’s tasks at work, attending his classes, to shopping for a person’s needs and wants, everything must now be done online.
Given this situation, we can say that the use of online marketing has never been more relevant, important, and useful than ever.
Reasons to Invest and Boost Your Online Marketing Now
Global Reach Despite Lockdown
Perhaps, this is one of the most obvious reasons why investing in online marketing is necessary amid the pandemic. With home quarantine and social distancing still being strictly observed, reaching out to customers via posters, flyers, and billboards won’t be plausible. There’s a big chance they won’t even be able to see your store in person, as they would prefer to stay at home and scroll through their smartphones while trying to kill some time amid the health crisis.
However, by investing in online marketing, such problems won’t greatly affect your business anymore. In fact, accessibility and engagement won’t now be problems, as your sites, online contents, and social media platforms will allow you to connect with potential customers, despite time and location. Moreover, such techniques will enable you to inform the public that you’re still on operations and influence them to try out your services/products while stuck in quarantine.
Build Customer’s Trust by Adapting to Their Needs
With the ongoing health crisis, showing care for consumers is a must for businesses. Since the threat of COVID-19 is a matter between life-and-death, it’s important to demonstrate empathy and sincerity that will let your customers feel they are safe under your care.
Since the time of pandemic is normally defined by stress, fears, and frustrations, adapting to your customers’ needs will let them feel that you relate to their perspective and that choosing your products/services won’t cost them any hassle or risk.
Faster Information Dissemination
Staying at home for too long could be a bore. Soon, people won’t have other things left to do but to lie on the couch and turn to their social media accounts. Sure, while the number of internet users has long been tremendous, the pandemic has pushed nearly everyone to find comfort, entertainment, and companion on the online world. With this, you can expect that things you’ll be posting online will have more chances of being read and shared faster than the normal.
More Specific Analytics
Finally, although the threat of COVID-19 has left stores, malls, and offices empty, this doesn’t mean that businesses will go on with their online operations blindly. In fact, thanks to the relative advancements in web-based platforms, organizations can have more specific analytics on their performance and activities.
From knowing how many shared their online content, how many viewed their videos, how many times a post has been liked, businesses will now be able to follow the status of their campaigns, know their progress, and determine how they can further improve their marketing to reach wider audience and attract more customers.
The Bottom Line
With how things currently are, it’s normal to feel demoralized and anxious. However, it’s all up to you whether you’ll let your business be dragged by the ongoing health crisis or take advantage of the opportunities the difficult time is offering.
Feel free to reach out and engage with the best online marketing experts today!